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Strathaven Echoes Column

02/10/2017

This fortnight, I was out and about supporting our local events, businesses and organisations once again.  I spent a busy afternoon last weekend at the Boghead Community Fun Day.  It was a great day indeed, with a wonderful array of home baking, a barbecue and bouncy castle for the children.  Hats off to the organisers who put in so much hard work and the community spirit was overwhelming.  I am delighted to support Boghead in their priorities for the area going forward.

I was pleased to visit a number of local businesses including Strathclyde Pharmaceuticals and NXP in order to meet with staff and to find out about their important contribution to our local economy.  In line with my ‘Here for Business’ Campaign, we also had fruitful discussions about the impact of Brexit and how Parliament can more effectively raise specialist industry concerns to support the needs of our local jobs and livelihoods.

I was delighted to visit the Department for International Development to find out about their programmes for assisting disabled children in developing countries.  As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability, I am keen that we promote such work as it reaches the most vulnerable- something that our community fully supports and that many of our local church groups already do via their exceptional international outreach.  Prior to recess, I met with Lord Dubs to request his assistance in supporting lone children with disabilities who are refugees and I am pleased to inform that he has kindly agreed to work with me on this issue.

Constituency wise in Strathaven we are extremely busy.  Please continue to pop into our office with your concerns and issues that you wish to be addressed.  We are open 9-5pm Monday to Friday with home visits available out-with this.  Road safety, traffic congestion and housing developments are key concerns that continue to be raised.  It is clear that we need appropriate local service planning and infrastructure development.  I have spoken with and written to South Lanarkshire Council to provide my views in this regard and to open a dialogue with key partners going forward.

At Westminster, I was delighted to be successfully elected to the Health Select Committee.  Our first enquiry will address the Nursing Workforce, NHS conditions and staff recruitment and retention.  I spoke on Radio Five Live last week to highlight my firm belief that we require to value our NHS workforce and to do all we can to ensure that they have supports in place to cope with the stressors of the job and retain a healthy work-life balance.  This alongside fair pay, aids staff retention and is ultimately good for patient care.

Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with Strathaven Evangelical Church, Strathaven Business Forum, attending a local event for Woman Against State Pension Inequality and visiting the AGAPE wellbeing café.  I would love to support your local initiative too, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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